Painting has always been a beloved hobby and creative outlet, but lately, there’s been an explosion of interest in experimenting with unique, bold, and even downright wacky painting techniques. As people look for new ways to express themselves and liven up their spaces, paint has gone wild in the best possible way. Let’s dive into some of the most popular paint trends taking over.

Embracing Imperfection with Abstract Art

Abstract art is all about emotion, freedom, and embracing the unknown. More people are finding joy in loose, interpretive painting styles that let them get messy and work intuitively without worrying about perfection. There’s no right or wrong with abstract painting – just flow, play, and discovering new visual languages. Vibrant colors intermingling, textures built up in thick impasto layers, strokes overlapping at odd angles – anything goes. It’s all about feeling inspired by shapes, patterns, and expressing your inner world through paint. Abstract art allows endless possibilities to get creative.

Turning Walls into Giant Canvases

Murals and large-scale paintings are having a moment as bold additions to home and office walls. There’s just something more impactful about big, sweeping brushstrokes covering an entire wall. From funky pop culture themes to calming nature scenes, oversized artwork makes a dramatic style statement. Even amateur painters are testing their skills on wall-sized canvases. The communal aspect of sharing enormous public art is part of the appeal too. Neighborhoods everywhere are being transformed by colorful ground-level and rooftop murals. Painting something huge brings a thrilling sense of freedom!

Unleashing Color with Decorative Accent Walls

Tired of plain, neutral walls? People are embracing color in exciting new ways by using accent walls. Just painting one bold wall in a complementary or contrasting shade completely transforms the look and feel of a room. And it’s simple to do with minimal cost or commitment. Vibrant accent walls in orange, green, pink or other hues breathe new life into living spaces. Other eclectic looks like color-blocking different shades in geometric patches or using special techniques like rag-rolling offer endless DIY possibilities. Paint opens up inexpensive opportunities for self-expression.

Getting Crafty with Upcycling

In the spirit of sustainability, creatively upcycling found items by painting them is trending. Whether it’s repurposing flea market furniture finds, transforming tired terra cotta pots, or customizing cheap thrift store art, people are breathing new life into old things with paint. Amateur painters with more enthusiasm than skill are embracing beginner-friendly techniques like color-blocking, ombre gradients, and patterns using painter’s tape or stencils. Painted accent furniture also allows easy makeovers. Giving castoff items artistic flair with paint makes for satisfying DIY projects with eco-friendly style.

Painting Happy Little Trees à la Bob Ross

Sometimes you just need a little relaxation – and the beloved late painter Bob Ross has inspired a resurgence in soothing landscape painting. Emulating Ross’ signature “happy little trees”, mountains, and clouds offers a meditative creative escape. Amateurs are finding the simplicity and repetition of stroke work with a palette knife or fan brush to be almost therapeutic. Online classes allow learning Ross’ wet-on-wet oil painting style from the comfort of home too. While skill levels may vary, dabbing in those happy little alpine scenes and sunset colors transports you to a peaceful, joyful place as Ross always hoped.

Breaking Rules with Mixed Media Art

Mixed media art refers to combining paint with other materials – sand, tissue paper, foil, found objects – for multidimensional textures and depth. Artists today are boldly breaking free of canvas and traditional materials to blend different media into highly experimental works. Paint mingles with wood, metal, plastic, fabric, beads or other ephemera in infinitely inventive ways, often emphasizing meaning through the additional materials chosen. Collage techniques also allow recycling magazines, photos, scrapbooking paper, and more by incorporating them into paintings. The cross-pollination of different crafts and mediums sets mixed media art apart.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wild Painting Trends

What are some beginner tips for abstract painting?

Some tips for abstract painting beginners include working on a medium-to-large canvas to allow freedom of brushstrokes, limiting your color palette to start, using big brushes for loose effects, incorporating found objects for textures, letting go of expectations, and most of all – having fun! Don’t overthink it. Abstract art is all about intuition.

What paint finishes work best for accent walls?

Flat, eggshell, and satin paint finishes work great for accent walls, providing vivid color while still having subtle sheen variations that keep them interesting without being overly reflective. High-gloss finishes tend to look more dated. Match sheen level to the rest of your decor.

How do you paint a creative mural?

Start with a theme that inspires you and sketch out a simple outline. Use grids and project your design for larger-scale accuracy. Use high-quality acrylic paints and large brushes for big blocks of color. Build up dimension with layers and textures. Use painter’s tape for clean edges. Work section-by-section. Prime the wall properly and seal your finished mural for longevity.

What are easy ways to upcycle furniture with paint?

Some fun, beginner DIY ways to upcycle old furniture with paint include ombre painting, colorblocking with painter’s tape, mismatched accent pieces, painting the interior of items, adding handpainted patterns or artwork, chalkboard and magnetic paint, and faux finishes like wood grain or marbleizing. Anything goes – be creative!

What tools and techniques help recreate Bob Ross’ style of painting?

Fan brushes, palette knives, and Bob Ross brand oil paints help recreate his textured “almighty mountains” and cloud techniques. Load brushes with heavy paint and use C-motions and upward zig-zags to build layers. Create depth with darker foreground details. Use firm, sideways knife strokes to achieve mighty, snow-capped peaks. Add trees with quick dabbing motions and soft cloud wisps by gently pulling and smoothing the knife.

How do you prepare surfaces for mixed media artwork?

It’s best to prime surfaces with gesso or matte medium before mixed media painting to build texture and prevent materials from warping or sagging. Waterproof rigid supports like wood or canvas panels also hold up better than paper or stretched canvas for collage elements. Use sealants or varnishes between layers and at the end for stability and longevity of the piece over time.


The endless varieties of unique painting techniques and visual styles being embraced today show that artistic expression through paint still thrives. From meditative Bob Ross landscapes to larger-than-life murals, paint allows limitless possibilities for creativity. Abstract color play, upcycling transformations, moody accents walls, mixed media experiments – there are so many ways to inject personality into living spaces and free your inner artist. Painting trends embrace both amateur dabbling and new professional styles with a fresh sense of play and freedom. Paint continues to inspire imagination – the vibrancy of what we color our world reflects the spirit of the times. So grab a brush, break some rules, and see where self-expression takes you!